Single is the focus of their spirit. Driven is the path of their desires. Voracious is the state of their blades. And unrestrained is the storm of their fury. With their master in mind and their failings as retainers at the center of their memories, the Nine warriors push forward through Kaido with the weight of twenty years of regret, love and hope. For the briefest of moments through the blaze of nine wills raging against him, Kaido glimpsed at the visage of Oden and reacted to the fear Oden had instilled into Kaido’s very being. Kaido in that moment has found himself overwhelmed.
Kaido has once again underestimated his opponents and has once again paid the price for such negligence. The non-existent threat he believed the retainers of Oden to carry created a blind spot within his psyche that the Akazaya Nine and Izo are now taking advantage of to press their assault and expression of rage. Kaido can do nothing but have his expectations crumble and sustain the damage inflicted onto him. It is obvious that Kaido won’t be killed by the Akazaya Nine and Izo but the efforts and damage done in this fight will ultimately be the determining factor in Kaido’s eventual downfall. Kaido may be seemingly unkillable but he is not beyond being affected by the damage imposed onto him. Luffy, Zoro, Law, Kid and potentially Yamato wait in the shadows to challenge Kaido once the Akazaya Nine have exhausted their spirits and dulled their blades against Kaido. Oblivious to Kaido but it is only a matter of time before he falls.
Considering what the Straw Hat Pirates did to Big Mom moments before, it is surprising seeing Big Mom composed and in a state of neutrality. Was Perospero able to calm her down off screen? Whatever happened, Big Mom has revealed her alliance with Kaido is merely a stepping stone she will use to further her desire of becoming King of the Pirates. Having faith in his captain, Perospero discards his intention of challenging the Beast Pirates and instead follows the plan Big Mom has in motion. This in turn puts Marco at odds with Big Mom and Perospero who now have no desire to stop the Beast Pirates. Big Mom doesn’t seem to want to fight Marco at this point in time which could imply she intends to do something else before turning her attention to the Straw Hat Pirates and their allies. Could Big Mom be going for the Road Poneglyph on Onigashima? Or is that something she intends to concern herself about after taking out the Straw Hat Pirates who have disrespected her on more than one occasion? If Big Mom and Marco do fight, it will be fascinating to see how Marco stacks up against a Yonko.
Carrot is heading towards Perospero followed by Wanda. Carrot noticed Perospero on Onigashima off-screen and now intends to exact her vengeance onto him for what he did to Pedro. Carrot’s reaction is interesting as too is the character story Oda-sensei is focusing on with her. Even though the Dawn of the World concept was mentioned by Pedro to Carrot, she has taken zero interest in such information and has now resorted to sating her base desires opposed to taking a step back and really thinking about what Pedro meant during their last conversation – especially the part about the Straw Hat Pirates being important. With all that is going on, rather than help the Straw Hat Pirates or the Mink, Carrot has decided that challenging Perospero is most important action to concern herself with. The Dawn of the World story may become relevant to Carrot to an extent in the future but at this point in time it is not part of her core character arc. Rather, Carrot’s encounter with Perospero is being set-up. Can Carrot even take on Perospero? Even with her Sulong active, it seems a farfetched stretch. Maybe with both Wanda and Carrot in Sulong form they could manage but currently Perospero is with Big Mom. Could Carrot’s encounter with Perospero instead be for a completely different reason? What would Carrot do if Perospero reveals to her that Pedro is not yet dead? I really do wonder…
Black Maria is such an enigma. What is her game? She is a member of the Tobi Roppo but she has expressed herself to be more independent than any other Beast Pirate member (ignoring those characters undercover). Black Maria had no intention of locating Yamato. She treated an injured Momonosuke with care. And now with chaos ensuing around Onigashima and King issuing the command for the Tobi Roppo to rally, Black Maria continues to separate herself from the conflict. Does Black Maria only plan to protect her subordinates? If so, does she not intend to make Kaido the Pirate King? Why did Black Maria join the Beast Pirates? Could she perhaps belong to another faction and like Drake, entered the ranks of the Beast Pirates to further her own purpose? I am so intrigued by the mystery surrounding Black Maria!
Shinobu running away from Yamato while carrying Momonosuke while hilarious is also quite interesting. Why did Oda-sensei have Yamato and Momonosuke separate in such a fashion? Where does he need Yamato and Momonosuke to end up? Will they find themselves at a place that explains the history of Wano Kuni and why Onigashima Island was separate from the rest of Wano Kuni? Could it also detail the relationship Ancient Giants had with the people of Wano in the past? If we assume the Wano Kuni Islands were pulled together by Ancient Giants in the past, it could create an interesting dynamic between Momonosuke and Yamato if it is true that Yamato is part Ancient Giant. And did Ryuma in the past challenge Oars and cause the injury Oars had on his right shoulder/arm? It would be fascinating if Ryuma was the reason someone as powerful as Oars retreated to a Frozen Island that ultimately led to his death. It would also nicely tie in the connections Thrilling Bark has with Punk Hazard and Wano Kuni. Very much looking forward to the next chapter.